McKinsey PST passing score: 70%+ April 12 2014

Student working in a library

If you have been invited to take the McKinsey PST, you are probably wondering what the passing score is for the McKinsey PST.

Whether you pass the PST or not depends on your score only.

First, whether you pass the PST or not depends only on YOUR score. It does NOT depend on the performance of the candidates who take the test at the same time as you do. If all of the candidates in your McKinsey PST session hit the cut-off score, all of you will continue the recruitment process with the firm. In other words, only YOUR performance matters for this step of the interview process.

Then, the cut-off score used by McKinsey does not vary between offices. Whether you are taking the test in Shanghai, New York or London, you will need to answer the same number of questions correctly to be invited to a first round interview.

Similarly, the grade you need to hit does not depend on the position for which you are applying. For instance, candidates applying for Business Analyst roles will have to hit the same pass rate as those applying for an Associate position.

McKinsey refuses to communicate the exact cut-off score for the test, which therefore leaves us with having to estimate it.

We estimate that the PST cut-off score is about 70%.

At IGotAnOffer, our best estimate is that the cut-off score is about 70%. This is based on our experience of successfully passing the test as well as on conversations with candidates who passed the McKinsey Problem Solving Test. In both cases, people who passed the test consistently scored above 70% during the last stages of their training AND performed well on the day. For a test composed of 26 questions, this corresponds to 19 or more correct answers.

Even more interestingly, in our experience very few people actually manage to score close to 70% the first few times they practice for the problem-solving test. Candidates who take the PST for the first few times typically score less than 50% in real time conditions. This really highlights the importance of training to pass the test.

Only a handful of people are able to pass without any serious preparation. In our experience, most people who pass have taken 10+ practice tests before the actual day and have dedicated 30+ hours to training. 

To a large extent, McKinsey not only tests your ability to solve problems in the PST, but also tests how much effort you are willing to invest and how smartly you can invest this effort to be ready and pass the test in a short period of time

Additional resources

Candidates from the best universities around the world use our McKinsey Case Interview Training ProgrammeFree McKinsey Case Interview PrepMcKinsey PST Training ProgrammeFree McKinsey PSTBCG Potential Test Training Programme and Free BCG Potential Test. Some races are worth the extra effort - let's get started!

The IGotAnOffer team

Photo: Thomas Leuthard / IM